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Janelle Mort - Strengthening our Community by Supporting our Staff

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Presentation by Janelle Mort - Strengthening our Community by Supporting our Staff. A case study of supporting a staff member with PTSD to find healing and safety at work. Presented at the Western Australian Mental Health Conference 2019.

Published in: Healthcare
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Janelle Mort - Strengthening our Community by Supporting our Staff

  1. 1. A case study of supporting a staff member with PTSD to find healing and safety at work Janelle Mort – Department of Communities Strengthening our Community by Supporting our Staff
  2. 2. What happened? • The individual had been working with us since 2010 as a manager of a home that had 4 young people with complex needs. Three of the 4 young people had been in the home since 2009. • After this incident, the staff member went off work for almost 1 year. In his return to work program, he was offered the opportunity to work in corporate operations in a training / consultant role.
  3. 3. What were his symptoms? He self-reported symptoms of: • Insomnia • Increased anxiety • Flashbacks • Low self-worth • Intrusive thoughts • Hypervigilance • Social withdrawal
  4. 4. What did we do?
  5. 5. Safety • Desk re-arrangement • Daily walks • Group supervision • Team road trip • Snapchat group • Attending training together Safety Physical Social PsychologicalMoral Cultural
  6. 6. Emotion • Community meetings • Sensory tools in office • S.E.L.F. team meetings
  7. 7. Loss • Connections with staff he had previously managed • Tactful humour • Self care and health and wellbeing plans • Walking meetings • Increased breaks • Adjusted work hours (in early, out early)
  8. 8. Future • Coaching-style management to empower staff member • Integration of special knowledge into learning programs
  9. 9. Challenges Other staff not understanding the reasons behind these decisions Balancing letting him find his feet, and inspiring him to try new things
  10. 10. What was the Outcome? • It has now been almost 2 years since this staff member joined our team. In this time we have seen tremendous growth and change in the individual as well as the team. • Productivity has increased 35%, and absences have decreased by 30%. • Staff morale is at an all-time high. • Other teams are now adopting some of our strategies and creating cultural change within their teams. • The individual is seeking trauma-specific interventions at a steady but less frequent pace, and self-reports significantly reduced symptoms, particularly at work.
  11. 11. Lessons Our staff are just as vulnerable and capable as the people we serve Trauma-informed support must start in the workplace Slow and steady wins the race

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